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tv   Book Discussion on 67 Shots  CSPAN  July 3, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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i love sharing stories with old and young, and i look guard to every day. i look forward to every day. as book shops have been closing in record numbers, national chains are closing down, 15 years ago i knew owners of about 300 bookstores. 250 of those have closed just in the past 15 years. so it's, it's important for these stores to continue to survive. they add character to the local community. it's a place, a meeting place for people, and it keeps history alive by these book shops continuing to be in existence. ..
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good evening. we're happy you're here for this even. i've one of the reference librarians here and we're here to listen to howard mean about his new book: "67 shots" at kent state where the shooting take place, only ten miles from here. beer excited to have this
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program of national interest. mr. means a biographer and former editor at the washingtonian, business books include pakistan the ageneral jerry takes tis play." "johnny appleseed, the man, the myth, and the american story." and also wrote the first biography on colin powell. join me in welcoming mr. mean. >> i also wrote "67 shots." i'm going to talk about that tonight instead of 76. thank you, amanda. ammann to is also herself a very accomplished novelist, and mystery stories, won an agatha
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christie. everybody who was at kent state in 1970, stand up and raise your hand. okay, this is scary. this is really scary. i wanted to point out jerry back there. [applause] >> jerry was a great help to me in putting -- getting contacts and writing the book, and as some of you are perhaps taking his course here for over 55 on kent state itch'll start with a slide show, just to sort of get us all on the same page about the times-what the background noise was that happened on may 4, and the people would weren't at kent state can envision what the situation looked like. it all begins -- begins
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april 30, 1970. the evening richard nixon addresses the nation. he had previously two weeks el area announce third would be a drawdown in vietnam of 150,000 troops, and on april 30th, and he announces instead the war is going to be expanded into cambodia. any of you who were in vietnam in 1970 would have been surprised the war was being expanded into cambodia since the war was already in cambodia. but it shocked in the nation, and nixon expected blowback on american camp puts and not it. not dramatically at kent state. here's nixon addressing the nation. right there, a parrot's beak, what he talked about. that's a part of cambodia that is closer to saigon than baltimore is to washington. a very strange talk.
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he got up behind the desk and walked over and pointed to the map and then sat back down. very strength. at kent state the next day -- this is the next day -- friday, may 1, there are two demonstrations, one at mid-day, this is a group that called its -- world history unions apposed to expect addition. they were a time of strange acronyms and this is one of them. they're -- excuse me -- way ahead of myself -- don't get to the credits yet. they're burying the constitution right there. there's a second demonstration would hours later. looked to be fairly tame and so president robert white decides to honor a previous commitment and go up to mason city, iowa forks a meeting of to the college testing group for which he is unpaid board chairman.
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that's when things fall apart. this is 11:30 at night. the first warm day of spring. campus day. also, for those who were there and remember, they sold 3-2 beer in kent. now, i don't know about you. traffic a lot of 3-2 beer, and there's a bartender, a bar owner's dream you. had to drink twice as butch beer to get the same buzz as 6.4 beer and you felt bloated and nasty when you got there but around midnight, a little before midnight, there's some kids come out. they light a fire in the street. they start stopping cars, talking about vietnam. they eventually race down water street and throw rocks and other things through windows of shops. the mayor about this time declare the bars have to be
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closed. so, now you have all these kids coming out of the bars, they've been drinking, a lot of them were there to watch bands. on college campuses, headliners go on around milt after the close the bar, and a lot were there to see this man perform. one of the most prolific scorers in nba history, in two senses of scoring. wilt chamberlain and game four of the nba title series, and this is may 4, the nba title series, not the quarterfinals. the wilt chamberlain, jerry west. willis reed. et cetera, et cetera, a great game. this game starts on the west coast at midnight. five minutes after it starts kids head out of the bars because the bars are closed and they're on the street so ugliness ensues. the other problem is the city of
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kent has been prepped by the times and the fbi to assume the worst of any demonstration. one reason they had been prepped was this man. anybody recognize home? jerry rubin. the had a talk at kent two weeks before, in a talk sanctioned by the university. one thing he said at the tack -- jerry ruben was street theater. the party was abbie hoffman, and jerry ruben liked to provoke. he was street theater. he said in or the to fight the revolution you have to first kill your parents. now, jerry lewis told me that he said that his students he would -- the next dave he says, he was speaking metaphor include. kill your parents. 0, no, he meant it. kill your parents. understandably this upset the residents of kept somewhat at -- the residents of kent some that kids were being told to kill their parents.
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then he goes around after the gets everybody all the street and estimates $50,000 worth of damage. turns out to be 10,000 or 5,000 depending on whether you take his revised estimate or the chamber of commerce estimate. nevertheless in the wee hours of the morning the calls the governor's office and says there has been trouble on streets of kent. sds students were involved, and he makes his first inquiry about bringing the national guard to kent. to the best of my knowledge, the pest of anybody's knowledge, the sds presence on the streets of kent on friday night, if it existed at all, was absolutely minimal. i got in with dick -- about it. he said i thought when i looked at the photograph i was going to say sds and weathermen but nothing to do with the kept campus, and there are students can we just didn't know who they
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are. i said how many people involved? he said, i wouldn't argue if you said zero. at anyway rate, now in the ear of the governor's office that sds is coming to kent. saturday. anybody know who that is? sean connery? claudine, miss france in 1958, and for darn good reason as far as i'm concerned. so, saturday, they closed the bars in kent. kids can't leave the campus because they're restricted to campus, so the university does a great job. they throw dances together, bring in movies like "thunder ball" to show in dormitories. they forth get one thing. they don't protect the r.o.t.c. building. if one thing was predictable on saturday night it what's r.o.t.c. would come-under assault there's a big sign on the commons on friday, wife is
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the r.o.t.c. building still standing? whose who lived through the time, r.o.t.c. buildings were attacked nationwide. the most ready symbol of military power on campuses. kent state administration leaves the building essentially unprotected. when the guard finally rolls in from akron the sky is lit up in red and that's what it looks like. it looked like it was on fire and put out and then burst into flames. this is the first time the guard comes on campus and that's what they see. this is what it looked like after. you see the building looking east, and this is the r.o.t.c. building looking south. this an important shot. set the stage for monday. that's the comment behind the r.o.t.c. building and that's the hall the students run by. this is prime piece of real estate and every academic department in kent, as far as i
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can tell, wanted that piece of property. that's one reason why preponderances nobody defended the building. why the campus police stood aside and let it burn down, didn't help the kent fire department when they came out and people started attacking the hoses because this was prime real estate. somebody said to do-the problem is if you let people burn down a building, they take it as a green light, an okay sign. burn the building down. not going to do anything. a terrible message to send to the students. so, this is saturday. i'm sorry, yes, saturday -- sunday, may 3rd. jim rhodes comes to kent help has been in a debate the night before with robert firefighter, jr., republican senatorial primary. rhodes, by one poll on friday was trailing by 70,000 votes. the primary is on tuesday, the next day. jim rhodes comes to town and this is a chance for jim rhodes
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to energize the law and order base and is not going to pass it up. he has a press conference, calls the people who have been doing these demonstration worst than brown shirts and woes than night reider and he said we're not longer going to treat the symptoms. we're going to eradicate the problem. incredibly provocative. and irresponsible language. but jim rhodes could see he was recall arey -- rallying the base, and he loses by 5,000 votes on tuesday. here's what the campus looked like on sunday. i like this shot because those skies look so regular. i love this bun because you have this campus scene. so much like -- grew up in the 1960s, 1970s, and then you have the guard with the m-1. but everything looked kind,
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everything looked all together. this is a little more questionable but a lot of that going on. then at night it falls apart again. the students want to go on -- they mass at the main gate, by the lincoln street. they mass there the want to march on the town the guard says, no, there's a confront addition. it gets ugly and that's the situation right there. and this is how sunday night ends, except this. these are scenes of equipment -- this is the kind of equipment the guard brought with them to kent. you have a campus, they've got five of these fully armored personnel carriers. they've got eight of these white helicopters, four of these heavy helicopters, and of course, they're tearing m-1s. and those who were there, again, remember. that's the night of the helicopter. there's tea gas flying everywhere.
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dropping pellets, chasing people back to the dormitory biffle monday morning, when people wake up, it's not a confront is addition about kent state. it's about the guard having taken over the campus. and that's really -- when you talk to person after person, they say they same thing. it's at that point that it fell apart. us against the guard. and so the kid wake up monday. they got an occupied campus. guards at the gate. they've got half trackness the parking lot. that's the music and speech therapy billing, -- building, i think. and everybody knows there's going to be a confrontation at noon on the mall. -- i'm sorry didn't on the commons. there's no secret. professors are talking about it in classes, scribbled on blackboards. everybody knows what is going to happen. is this the scene an noon on the
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commons. this is taylor hall, kids massed. that's a closeup. that's jeffrey lewis right there -- sorry -- sorry, jeff -- jerry. and he has 24 minutes to live at this point. this is the guard and what are they holding in their arms in m-1s. there could not be a worse weapon to do crowd control with. those who have been in the military duty, an m-1 is low that to half a mile, an m-1 if you line 250 people up and three people up 250 yards out, the round will pass through all three. the m-1 will hit -- if you hit an engine block with it, it ill move the engine block unless it's inside the car. it has incredible speed, power, energy. a terrifying instrument and al all you can do with an m-1 and a
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bayonet for crowd control is to let people get close enough to you to stab them, shoot them, and when i look back at this and me more i thought about this -- i spent months and months thinking about this -- i kept coming back to the images from 1965 in birmingham, alabama. you remember bull conner doing crowd control in the streets of birmingham wimp leashed dobermans and water cannon. absolutely humanitarian crowd control. never thought i'd think of bill conner as humanitarian. but in comparison. the other thing they have to do crowd control with is -- excuse me. one more thing. this is also noon on monday, may 4. this is the brown derby restaurant. some of you might remember, half mile off camp pulse. who was at the brun derby at -- brown derby at noon? the president, vice president, all of the senior administrators, they were all there having lunch.
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to talk about what they were questioning to do once the guard left the campus. the president had come back. he had come back on sunday about mid-day. he was there, too. there is a crisis communication center. a windowless room in the administration building, and a guy named ray, who i had a great interview with, a 23 or 24-year-old grad walt assistant who was detailed to president white's office. he was the guy charge -- representing the administration's interests on the kent state campus at the moment all this happened. he couldn't see anything. he told me he is talking to people with crackly walkie-talkieses and has no idea who is talking to and that's the state of communication between the senior official ted brown -- officials at the brown derby restaurant. and then the guard comps out and there's tear gas. it's dissipating because it's a
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17-miles-an-hour wind. the stock of tear gas was quantifiable. you have a canister, there's a 17-miles-an-hour wind you know how much loss you're going to get firing into the win but this was their principle means nor crowd control other than the m-1s and the bayonets. i have a little schematic here. let me just -- for nose who don't know, this where is the r.o.t.c. building burn, this is where the national guard starts at noon. this is where the kids are on the highlyside here in front of taylor hall. i think it's a baseball stadium. the right-field line, the left-field line here, deep center field right here where the victory bell is. the guard comes us up and going to push the people over the hill. the bulk goes over company a, and troop g guess this way. a group of students splinters and goes off here, and is who
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company c? that's right a man who is in company c that day. they good over this way, and they just stay up here at the top of the hill. they run the people up here. this get to the top of the hill and what have the students done do -- i'm sorry, they say there can be no crowds, what is a crowd? a guardsman runs off and says three people. and i think gather was telling me that story. somebody said to him, so, two students are talking? i come up and join the conversation. it's illegal? saysey. it's an insane mandate. the take off, they're up here, get up to the top of the hill, the general, the mission commander says he hoped with all of his heart when he got to the top of the hill here that the students would have dissipated. what are the chances of that?
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they've been run down here. they come into the parking lot down hire. the guard will then chase them down, and they'll march -- well, you'll see in a second --cñ
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the pagoda. they've done this before on previous days. this is the situation. they don't fire, and they go back, they start retreating up the hill, and the students think they're retreating have won and they start chasing them and taunting them, and that is the pagoda. this where is the first turn and start firing. this is colonel fastinger, he was not the -- these closeups are done by -- anybody know how to fire a gun? any know howard? a photographer? howard did wonderful work, and then this is another one of closeup, the moment robert canterberry turns and seize them firing. so they're firing at this point. the students start diving in parking lots, dashing for protection. and then we get to -- i don't
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want to be -- i don't want to harp on anybody but this is what happened. this is john cleary. john cleary -- let me go back one second. the first person -- the most distant person shot is a guy named doug lan mckenzie. he is 250 yards away, two and a half football fields, walking away, when he is shot through the neck from the back. the bullet misses his spine by an inch and exits through his jaw. 250 yards away. just some sense of the power of an m-1. john cleary was 37-yard away. he brought an instamatic and was advancing -- he was shot in the chest from 37 yards away. he survived but barely he spent the days in the intensive care. and then the dead. you'll recognize these photos.
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allison kraus, very much a -- i think of joan baez, that long hair, bill schroeder, he was a -- he won an army r.o.t.c. scholarship. he went to colorado college of mines and decided he didn't like his major there, transferred to kent state so he could be a psychology major. was number two in his class, in his r.o.t.c. clash, was on the freshman basketball team when they had freshman teams. he stopped by to have a look what was happening. there's one photograph, you see him holding his books like this. going between classes and locking and saying, what's this all about? just curiosity. this is the one that breaks my
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heart. was a speech pathology major and by every indication didn't have a political bone in her body. she was walking from one class to another: exactly what kids do on college campuses. and this is jeffrey miller. jeffrey miller was the most accurate. a short guy, he darted around a lot. he was probably throwing some rocks, probably shouted. he was shot in the mouth. which suggests intentionality of a horrible sort. this is the photograph that was in al the newspapers. high school yearbook photos and exaggerated that sense of innocence, 'innocence lost. you look at these innocent faces, just horrifying. and this is not the famous
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photograph of -- where she has her hands up like this, looks like a scream. this is one taken just before that, when she just realized what happened to the person lying on the street next to him. that's jeff miller. and for some reason to me that's a more powerful photo. don't know why. it's that moment of first realization before the shock that she gets her -- is raising her arms. and then go back to this just one time. so, here's the -- dagnabbit. stop dog that. here are the killed down here, you can see the wounded. that's doug mckenzie over there. the guard goes back to its original coordination back here. a group of students have never left over here. now students start filtering back and they're telling them what happened, and the anger and -- i don't know how many of you were on that side of the
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hill, but this is really in a way the most volatile time of the whole incident. the guard is now facing a crowd. and the guard knows only one thing to do when it faces a crowd. march forward and disperse. the students are not going to disperse. 20 have stripped to the waist and painted xs on their chests and foreheads. i talked to people, said they were ready to charge. they felt angry that they didn't -- damn the consequences. and that -- they didn't. this confrontation did not take place is largely due to one man, glenn frank. how many of you had glen frank for a course. you have his story. former marine, geology -- still look like a marine. look at that. ever seen a -- and geology
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professor, been a lifer at kent, and he has a double, which i realize as i was doing this, and -- [laughter] >> you recognize drew carey? the funny part is drew carey went to kent state, there in 1975. he dropped out after a year. if anybody was going to make this movie drew carey should play glenn frank. so glen frank throws him between the two groups. is that clyde barron with the megaphone? i couldn't get confirmation of that. okay. but they had this confrontation. you can see glenn frank -- there's film footage of this but
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i couldn't use it. he starts base which i begging and crying, and finally -- he falls down on the ground if think the reason he falls is, one, emotion, and, two he is an ex-marine and has look behind the kids kids and sees they have beenern circled by national guardsmen and they all have m-1s so they're ducks on a pond. finally the moment brecks. the kids disperse, and the event has ended. but it would have been -- there were 80 guardsmen left down there who never fired anything. they had eight rounds to their m-1s. 640 rounds, and bayonets. would have been horrible to have done that. then -- i'm sorry. white house. go back to the white house. haldeman, h.r. bob haldeman,
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chief of staff. machines no, wakes nixon up from a nap and tells him what happened. nixon is immediately horrified. afraid his cambodian speech has done this and then he sets out -- he demands basically haldeman and -- j. edgar hoofer to find the agitators responsible for this and that becomes the story line of the house. spiro agnew who you will recognize, what the jerry ruben of the right. he was theater, too. one of nixn's first orders is shut agnew up. you can't let him talk you. can't shut him up. three days after the shootings he goes on david frost's show and says i think it was murder, too, and just horrified the white house. but he went on to say -- to sort of say, it was murder, too, but it was excusable murder, too.
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now, you can read more about that. and then the next night, friday night, the night of what i call the night of the weird. you might remember this photograph. richard nixon gives a press conference, thinks it's successful. goes back to this bedroom and can't sleep. he makes 87 calls in three hours, three to henry kissinger. finally at 3:30 he shake his valet and says have you ever been to the lincoln memorial? you have to understand that the white house at this point is ringed by d.c. transit buss. the 82nd airborne are sleeping in the executive office building basement. there are tens of thousands of demonstrators on the mall to protest the cambodian invasion and the kent state shooting, and richard nixon decided it would be a great time to show his valet the lincoln memorial. so they go down. a couple -- these are
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demonstrators who are sleeping down there i love the expression you. know they're saying to themselves, what drug did i take? this goes on here -- he says i've never seen the secret service so petrified in my life. you can imagine, there's only two secret service people there and he doesn't look happy. he asked his val hey have you've seen the well of the house of the -- he says no. so he goeses there and wakes up security and puts minimum nola up there where the state of the union addresses are given and sits down and tells him to say something. it's nuts. richard nixon at his absolute weirdest. but one thing even more horrible in the way that happened about kent state and that's my last slide. i don't know if you ever saw this sweat shirt.
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urban outfitters put this sweatshirt on sale. and they said when they were questioned, oh, just natural wear and tear and random coloration. well, among other things, that's almost exactly where allison kraus was shot and it's appalling. one reason i wrote this book. change the screen. that's too ugly a shot. i've come to the end. i can just -- >> the university has changed the logo by 1970. that's no -- i was in '67 and that's when they were transitioning from that logo, which i the seal of the state of ohio. and -- >> don't know how to turn this thing off. anybody know how to turn this
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off? we'll get that image off of there. so i apologize for that image. get one thing. forgot to get a book out. that's the backdrop to the book, and it's a story i tell and the question was, how am i going to tell it? and i didn't know, frankly. i knew i wanted to tell it -- i knew every saw the sweat shirt i had to tell and it then i discovered, which i should have, that the university had 130 oral histories they collected. the archive people at the kent state library deserve medals, every one of them. amanda, the public librarian there, is just -- thanks very much -- is -- they've done a spectacular job for requests for information.
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what i had to tell the story was basically 130 memories and then i supplemented that will be own interviewing. so let me just give you a sense of what that meant from a writing point of view. every time i came to some moment in the story, i had somebody's memory. for example, friday night. a woman named diane gallagher was working at a pizza joint on water street, and somebody comes bursting into the door and says, -- this is after the started the little riot out there on the streets -- says the revolution has begun. he revolution has begun. and naturally she took her apron off and went out and joined the revolution and gave up her job. denny benedict was the one in the dormitory where they were showing "thunder ball" and the tells the story that the resident adviser stops the
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project juror and says to the students the r.o.t.c. building is on fire, the national guard has come to campus you. can't leave the building. what are the kids going to do? leave the billing as fast as you can. runs out the front door, jumps through a laundry room window and starts running to to the main gate and turns the corner and there's a half track coming right at him. lined on the top with poem with m-1s. then he races back to the dorm. jim talk about getting ready for the confrontation on monday with -- he said 50 other people in this dormroom. all doing marijuana, getting ready. there was a fair amount of marijuana involved. a guy indiana. henry talked about he was in the parking lot, standing next to bill schroeder when he was hit. he said he happened to be
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looking at him and he said, 190-pound guy, lifted him off his feet and carried him how to the air back, which tore me apart. ray, told you, who was sitting in there, trying to -- in the crisis communication center, describes it, trying to make sense of chaos and communicate that to the people in the administration in the restaurant. chuck ayers. pretty well-known from the comic strip, "crank shaft." told the steer, he had been out photographing and decided when the guard starts matching back up the hill that the excitement is over, that the kid have won, retreat is on, so he rushes back to the kent stater, to turn in his film. and he get thursday there, just starting to get his film out, and a kid comes rushing in, a freshman, and says -- he has a dog with him probably and goes
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under a desk and holds the dog and starts crying. again. still get tearful. william, a vietnam veteran and student, told another story. he knew what it looked like when somebody bled out. he saw jeff miller on the street lying there, and he said he just sat down bay tree, nature tree, and started crying. there's a lot of crying in this story. dianne peabody didn't get to the demonstrations because she was -- she and a friend were late. they went back to her dormitory, and she doesn't know what happens she sees people running towards her dormitoriy and sees her boyfriend running towardses the dormitory, and runs downstairs to meet him, and he breaks down in tears and falls down and says -- because he thought she might have been hurt. now, there's just stories like this all over the place.
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there's a -- even a guardsman -- the guardsman in the oral history are underrepresented, however the guardsman were deposed. there was court action for 11 years, ten years. they were deposed time and time and time again. if you read the guardsman at that position, and try to make sense of what was going on in their heads, at first they all had the same party law. we heard income and can respond end then as they get further out you get a deeper sense what was going on in their head, inside the gas mask, and there was one guy, a private fourth class named perkins, who said in this last deposition, within 25 feet from any end if was being hilt on every point of my body not n such a maner that in roman days they put people to together. trying to be poetic there,
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literary, but i read enough accounts like that i income for the majority of the guardsman there was that sense, there was a riot going on in their head. there was 25 feet from him. but i think in their heads they thought that was true. a woman named roseanne, who lived in downtown kent, was in the backyard with a bunch of mothers and babies. she had a little 11-month-old, and there was a roofer working next door. on the top of the roof, listening to the radio and then he shouts sound, oh, my god, they've shot the guardsmen, and for those of you who are here, the story went out that way. initially the communications -- the miscommunication was nationwide. it traveled around the country. and i find myself wondering if social media had been.
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it would have been horrible put the story might have gotten out. too many people who were too harmed by fear, didn't know what happened. and then a woman named barbara holland. she was nowhere their the commons when this happen. she was working on a anatomy paper. she was a senior. talk to her. did it have any affect on your life? she said for the next five years i had post-traumatic stress disorder., and she hadn't been there. a traumatic effect. so you can still get emotional when you talk about this. people tell me the back is an intense read, and i think it probably is an intense read because i felt a lot of this very intensely as i was writing. probably should have finance out and walked the dog between chapters or photographs. i came to feel like i was channeling the memories of 130
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or more people. then when i saw that grotesques urban outfitter shirt. and then i wrestled with how to end the book, and i -- spoiler alert but i finally decided that the only way i could do it and be true to what i thought was important was to start the become with vietnam, in vietnam, on may 4, 1970 in vietnam. and to tell in -- in very abriefated form the stories of the 24 people who died that day in vietnam. 17 people died a day in vietnam from 1970. but there was a mid-air collision between two helicopters just about the exactly the time the kent state shootings took place that killed another seven people. so, then i guess -- i also -- then as i got to that point i
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realized, you think of antiwar and the war as binary, but they're not binary. it wasn't them here. they were connected and i realized there is a guy name timothy, one of the more moving stories that -- in all these. timothy defrank's brother had been killed 19 days into his tour of duty in vietnam. timothy defrank was a senior education major, student teaching, i going fort exactly where but he heard about the shootings, rushed to the hospital where his father was dying of prostate cancer, and robin sin -- robinson memorial, and he gets there, and they're bringing in the wounded and his mother is standing there, and
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his father died about the exact moment when they started bringing the first wind in. this story is -- it broke my heart. a story about how protesters threw a bottle through the window over her head. she is nonetheless very sympathetic to the cause. she had a nephew who she raised after his mother died, and he was shot on his first tour of duty, getting out of the helicopter, never even hit the ground in vietnam before he was killed. and william, i mentioned earlier, another veteran, albert van kirk. so i tried to tell the final -- afterwards for the book to some extent through their eyes, and then i thought if i could just really quickly i wanted to read just the final page and a half of the book, and again, this doesn't give anything away. i have to get glasses on.
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then i'll take some questions or comments. all right. i had this marked but of course i messed that up. okay. in exactly legal sense what hand on blanket hill mile heave been murder in the second degree aspire row agnew told dave frost ex-more likely manslaughter, volunteer tear ore otherwise, but finding a jury that other convict the guardsman seems unlikely; trial juries both respect the law they're called on to interpret and treat them with a heavy dose of common sense. the common sense we tell this about nip that the guards called to duty at kent state we were poorly train in crowd control,s miserably led and had the wrong tools to complete the mission.
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that the guard was there at out the result of an early morning call that never should have been made. students and outsiders behaved poorly, sometimes criminally in downtown ken e kent on the night. cambodia was an incentive. too much bore was as much or bigger reason. windows never should have been smashed. this was charged moment in the american history. the air was fraught with worse to come. whatever the insult the mayor overreacted and when he saw an opening he could run through to the u.s. senate. a man trailing badly in the polls with the may 5 primary looming but all of that is background noise to the kent state shooting and the larger horror of vietnam. people died who should not have on both fronts. permanent ones in southeast asia and the instant one in northeast
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ohio. everyone can count the ways in which both experience etched lifetime scars. here's the final thought. the best thing that happened for those who still carry the kent state shootings or the vietnam war close to their heart those get beyond who did what win in an interview during the 20th 20th anniversary in 1990. janice marie talk about an earlier speaker who vowed she would never forget. hi tore my heart out. i think they're important -- real important lessons with this, but if there's nor forgiveness, there's no healing and murder going on forever, which which i add, amen. that's my talk. thank you very much for listening. [applause] >> i need to listen to you. >> did you choose not to do --
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>> i'm sorry. i can't hear you. they were at akron, teamster strike and they had about three hours sleep. how much sleep did you have on the day before? [inaudible] >> there was photographer on top of johnson hall who was taken at one point as a sniper. the sniper defense didn't materialize. there was a guy with a tape recorder on his windowsill, the famous tape, which if you listen to it, seems a certain way. can pick up four bang, bang, bang, 70 seconds before the actual shooting. that could be a guy named terry norman who is the -- i don't know what you call -- he second
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man on the grassy knoll in this story in a way. i don't think -- i think that secondary -- i think it precedes the shooting by much that it doesn't comport with anything anybody says itch think the sheeting was not caused by sniper fire, in other words. yes, ma'am. >> i had two children in elementary school at the old university school, and i went to pick them up, and was told i couldn't take them out because there were snipers on the roofs. and i took them anyway, and we literally ran out like this. to get in the car to go home. >> amazing. a couple kids in the whole interviews who tell stories. one girl, ten or 11 years old, tells of getting on her bus -- this is a school bus -- and big guy gets on with a baseball bat
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and tells them to lie on the floor, and they lie on the floor all the way to their stops and he's standing with a baseball bat. a lot of stories like that. terrifying stories. but again, this is -- so much -- a lot of rumors. that the students were going to come through the sewers and attack clarkson's, a k-mart of today if i remember correctly. so there were all these stories. yeah. >> i had a guard quite a few different places. we were afraid of the water being contaminated, so i guarded that. spent all night at the residence home, where there was a couple guardsmen with me. there's a neighbor that came out in the morning and gave us coffee, and i also guarded -- i forget but we were all over. >> yeah, and people forget there were over a thousand guardsmen, 1350. a lot of those never government on campus and a lot of them
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were -- because kent was understand martial law, too. but thanks for that. you remind me of the story, very prominent rumor that they were going to spike the water supply with lsd. would have been a hell of at lot of -- >> just a couple comments. terry robins -- at terry normans an fbi informant. and in terms of that, one thing that i was wondering about in your research, if you looked at the house committee investigations of sds at kent state in 1969, and would be willing to talk about these -- many of these rumors that you talk about are very similar to tactics used then, and i wonder what you think about the government's involvement and just general leading to an atmosphere of distrust in the community prior to that.
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you talk a lot about -- >> the prior -- the government, i think, and the times -- let's remember the times. they all helped to set the table for this. when kids got in a rampage on friday night it fit a storyline that was not without some support. people were blown up the research labs at wisconsin. a lot of bad stuff going on. so, in a way what i said -- i do say in the book in a way what happened at kent state was inevitable and utterly preventible. inevitable because all the fuss you were just talking about, all comes together at this one spot in northeast ohio in this one moment in may of 1970, but in every step of the way it's utter live preventible. every party could have made a different set of decisions in terms of -- one of the story lines is that the -- that keeps
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getting back to nixon, some sort of nixon-hoover plot. actually. her r. bob haldeman would say he thought this kent state unhinged nixon sufficient live it led to the creation of the plumbers because hoover couldn't find for him the outside agitators the sds, the weathermen he was sure had done this so he lost faith in hoover, and the started his own -- the plumbers to take care of the work that hoover couldn't do. but good point. over here. anybody else have a question? i'm sorry. >> john dean in his book said he thought kent state in retrospect would be the end of the nixon administration. that was the beginning of it. the thing friday night dish wasn't the -- you can almost replicate that at most state university towns. the police went in and threw a
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bunch of drunken college students when they could all buy beer. this just drove out of the bars. a recipe for disaster. absolute stupidity. >> because say tau sds everywhere. -- they've saw sds everybody. there were four sds students had been release -- called the kent state four -- had been released from the county jail a couple days earlier. now the sds is on the loose. >> the other thing is the national guard kind of symbolically, to my mind, admitted they'd messed up because two days later, testified in washington there was a sniper on the roof, which was really insane. so you shoot people on the ground. so he backed away from that one quick. >> made no sense. one of the most heartbreaking documents in this whole thing, after action report by the
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general, and the last question on it was, problems encountered and lessons learned. and he said, none. that just -- i don't know. just did me in when i read it. hold on one second. >> i was struck by the fact there were 67 shots fired, four students killed. how many wounded? >> nine. >> so let's only 13. you's think with the crowd being as close as they were that would have been halt more fatilities. >> they shot in the air or into the ground. a guy e-mailed me who had been in the guard. can't remember his name. he said, two weeks later they were at camp perry doing target range practice and they came in and the major was in charge of it said, boy, if you guys had
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been that good at kent state we could have killed 40. the guy said, all the guardsmen who were students were horrified and didn't know what to say. just looked at the floor. you hear these things, they just -- and when you look at -- and the story -- heartbreaking stories are the people who -- generational divide. guy named terrell still teaches art at kent state, told me that five days afterwards a kid came back to his house. everybody had been sent away, campus closed. kid came back to his house and his parents said what are you doing her? and i went home and hi parents were waiting on the side over door and shout through the mail slot, never want to see you again. a lot of stories like that. the generational divide. such a horrible time. yes, please. >> do you think this sets the stage for a general disdainful
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look and victimizing of the students that were protesting authority, that has trickled down to our domestic forces today? do you know there was an actual student shot by campus police dead because he got smart mouthed? the campus police wanted him to change his parking space or something. >> when was that. >> he started to lip off. you can look it up on the internet. very recent. >> i did not -- i missed that. >> did you happen to hear about the one who tased by campus police while he attended a lecture of one of the -- i believe it was -- gosh, who is the guy who is vice president now -- biden -- joe biden -- was talking on campus and a student got up and started to ask him some hard questions, as our
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young people are supposed to do to keep the older generation aware of what is going on, and the campus police started to approach him and told him to leave, and he refused. and they whipped out a taser. >> what i do think is that the mail tearization of response is one of the lessons from kent state. too much fire power brought for the job, and -- i know you have to protect yourself. there's too much fire power and the fire power then turned the demonstration from the vietnam war to the purveyors over fire power themselves. >> you think the campus supplying be armed? with deadly force? >> you know, i can't abc -- i can't answer that. i'm not an expert. jerry, let me get you. >> whet outcome appetite. of you want to follow up, this is a commercial.
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for the visitor center in taylor hall. it's open from 9:00 to 5:00, monday through friday, and varieses on saturday. i strongly recommend. you can do it in an hour and it's terrific telling of the may 4 story. so it's on taylor hall and there's parking. >> extraordinarily well done. i think one last one. >> i graduated in 1967 so i was long gone by may of 1970, but i do remember -- because i lived in johnson hall in 1964 or '5 -- the camp pulse day parade, which was always the first weekend in may -- all the dormitories and the fraternities, sororities had stuff going on, there was row boat regatta. the was a guy my in dorm named doc edwards, organizer of a group called the kent committee to end the war in vietnam, and they marched in the campus day
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parade right down what is now called 59, then east main street, and the parade went downtown. ...
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